Why Is Height A Factor
The key word is aggressive disease. Being taller meant a higher risk of aggressive or high-grade prostate cancer, rather than overall disease.
The mechanisms underlying this association of height with aggressive disease are not fully understood, says the report.
The study authors note that the investigation had a limitation: lack of screening data.
Though the information is compelling, this does not translate to tall or obese men need to start panicking over prostate cancer, or that short and thin men can relax and skip annual screenings. The full report is in BMC Medicine .
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. Shes also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.
Four Key Mistakes To Avoid If You Are Diagnosed With Low
Here are key mistakes Dr. Hu has identified
- Mistake: Automatically opting for treatment when you have low-risk prostate cancer. Even though treatment for low-risk prostate cancer is generally not recommended, in the recent study, more than 85% of the men with low-risk prostate cancer chose to have some sort of treatment. The most common treatment was radiation therapy , and the second most common was surgery . Just 15% opted to skip treatment. The good news is that, as the study went on, there was a trend toward a greater percentage of men opting for active surveillancea trend that has accelerated according to recent surveys. However, Dr. Hu thinks too many men are still missing out on this proven approach.
- Mistake: Choosing active surveillancebut not doing follow-up tests. According to the results of this study, fewer than 5% of the men who skipped treatment complied with recommended monitoring. They had fewer office visits, and fewer repeat PSA tests, compared with men who had some form of active treatmentand only 13% underwent a second biopsy within two years, as recommended.
What Are The Symptoms Of Prostate Cancer
In most cases, prostate cancer causes no symptoms.
In rare cases, men may experience certain symptoms when they have advanced prostate cancer. However, these symptoms are also present in many men who do not have cancer, so it is best to discuss them with a doctor before jumping to any conclusions. Some of these symptoms can include difficulty emptying the bladder, blood in the urine, and bone pains.
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Living With Prostate Cancer
Receiving a diagnosis of prostate cancer can be alarming studies show that the risk of suicide and cardiovascular disease goes up in the week after someone is told they have prostate cancer.
If you feel anxious, frustrated or upset about how prostate cancer may be affecting your life, talk with your doctor, partner or friend and get support.
What Kind Of Treatment Will I Need
There are many ways to treat prostate cancer. The main kinds of treatment are observation, active surveillance, surgery, radiation, hormone therapy, and chemo. Sometimes more than one kind of treatment is used.
The treatment thats best for you will depend on:
- Your age
- Any other health problems you might have
- The stage and grade of the cancer
- Your feelings about the need to treat the cancer
- The chance that treatment will cure the cancer or help in some way
- Your feelings about the side effects that might come with treatment
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Black Men Should Be Screened For Prostate Cancer More Proactively
Given the higher risk of developing and dying from prostate cancer, Black men are more likely to be saved by screening, Dr. Kantoff says. The main prostate cancer screening tests are a digital rectal exam, in which a doctor checks for swelling and inflammation, and a PSA test, which measures the level of prostate specific antigen in the blood.
Black men are 50% more likely to develop prostate cancer in their lifetime and twice as likely to die from the disease, says Philip Kantoff.
Dr. Kantoff explains that a calculation commonly used in the context of screening is: How many men need to be screened in order to save one life? Theoretically, he says, among Black men, that number should be lower. Screening guidelines have been based on studies that included very few Blacks, so they may underestimate the screening benefit for this group. Overall, Blacks may need earlier and more frequent screening than the general guidelines would suggest.
Everyone Older Than 60 Has Cancer
Doctors are finally realizing that most people have cancer in their body. But its latent or hidden cancer. Latent cancers are so well contained by the immune system that they never get large enough to cause problems. As a result, doctors rarely discover them, unless they discover them by accident. Most of the cancers they discovered in this autopsy study were latent cancers. And, as you can see, they are very common.
Autopsy studies on women, for example, show that by the time a woman is 40 years old, the chance of her having a latent breast cancer is 40 percent.
That sounds terrible, doesnt it? Its really not terrible. In fact, the existence of latent cancers is very reassuring. They clearly demonstrate how effective a healthy immune system can be in stopping cancer.
Its so effective that the great majority of latent cancers never go on to become full-blown cancers. Thats good news. When you start to add up all of the various autopsy studies that are published, you soon realize that every single one of us over the age of 60 has cancer. Actually, we have at least two of these cancers already living in our bodies. But the really important thing about latent cancers is that they can teach us a lot.
The first thing they teach us is that by maintaining a healthy immune system, we can dramatically decrease our chances of dying from cancer.
Whats the best way to do this?
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Tests Used To Check The Prostate
This first step lets your doctor hear and understand the “story” of your prostate concerns. You’ll be asked whether you have symptoms, how long you’ve had them, and how much they affect your lifestyle. Your personal medical history also includes any risk factors, pain, fever, or trouble passing urine. You may be asked to give a urine sample for testing.
Can Prostate Cancer Treatment Affect Your Quality Of Life
Your age and overall health will make a difference in how treatment may affect your quality of life. Any health problems you have before youre treated, especially urinary, bowel or sexual function problems, will affect how you recover. Both surgery and radiation can cause urinary incontinence or impotence .
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So What Do Experts Say About Psa Testing For Black Men
The aggressive nature of prostate cancer in black men justifies earlier screening, and offers the chance to catch the cancer before it spreads outside the prostate or grows to an advanced stage, Dr. Etzioni says.
So while there is no official caveats to the guidelines for African Americans, that doesnt necessarily mean you shouldnt get screened earlier.
The important thing is that black men are informed patients and that they know theyre at greater risk, Dr. Lipshultz says.
He recommends screening once a year starting at age 45, and twice a year if results show a rise in PSA levels. But don’t panic over the results.
Prepare to be calm if youre diagnosed, Dr. Etzioni says. Even among black men, many prostate cancers are low-risk. That means most cancers arent aggressive, and may not even require treatment. In fact, among black men who develop prostate cancer, only about 10 percent of them will progress to an advanced stage by the time theyre diagnosed.
What The Guidelines Say About Race And Screening
You cant change your age, race, or family history. But you can control when you get screened.
So does this mean black men should approach PSA testing differently?
Surprisingly, theres no formal guidance on that issue. The Task Force states theyre unable to create separate guidelines for African American men because no direct evidence shows that screening earlier or more often would benefit black men more than the general population.
Theres plenty of circumstantial and clinical evidence, says Mens Health urology advisor Larry Lipshultz, M.D. But the Task Force is organized to make recommendations based only on established literature, and theres no study for them to cite.
But that doesnt eliminate the need for a separate approach to screening for high-risk men.
I understand why the Task Force wont create separate recommendations, but I wish they would, because this is a population in which the disease is a big burden and they need formal guidance that supports them, Dr. Etzioni says.
In fact, after analyzing the available literature on prostate cancer incidence, course of disease, outcomes, genetic differences, and social barriers, scientists concluded in a 2016 BMC Urology review that would be greatly necessary to help save the lives of African Americans.
Treatment Options For Prostate Cancer
Your treatment options will depend on the stage of your cancer, medical history, and other factors. If you have low-grade prostate cancer, you might not need to undergo immediate treatment. Some people dont need treatment at all and just have to monitor their symptoms and attend regularly scheduled appointments to detect if the cancer is progressing. This is known as active surveillance and observation.
Surgery could be the right choice for you if the cancer is only located in the prostate gland. Two types of surgery include:
Retropubic surgery The surgeon makes one long incision in the abdomen to remove the prostate gland.
Robot-assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy The surgeon inserts a mechanical device through several small incisions in the abdomen. The instruments attached to the device remove the prostate gland. This is the more common technique used for most types of prostate cancer.
Other medical conditions you have
Your feelings about beginning treatment immediately
Your doctors opinion about beginning treatment immediately
Stage and grade of the cancer
Likelihood of curing or managing your cancer
Possible side effects
You dont have to decide what to do at your appointment. Although you might not be able to wait that long, you should give yourself at least some time to consider all your options and make the choice thats best for you. You might even be able to seek a second opinion.
Why Would I Go To My Gp If I Dont Have Any Symptoms
If you do have prostate cancer and its caught early before it causes symptoms, theres a good chance treatment could stop the cancer spreading. It may not be possible to cure your cancer but you may be able to have treatment to help control the cancer and manage symptoms.
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For Starters Lets Talk About What The Prostate Is And What It Does
What is the prostate? The prostate is an important organ in the male reproductive system. The prostate is positioned just below the bladder.
What does the prostate do? The prostate plays a role in the production and emission of semen. In young men, the prostate is about the size of a walnut. As men age, the prostate usually grows larger.
What Will Happen If I Go To My Gp
Contact our Specialist Nurses about what to expect at a GP appointment.
Its natural to feel worried or embarrassed about going to the doctor or having tests. But dont let that stop you going to your GP. Remember, the tests give your GP the best idea about whether you have a problem that needs treating.
If youre not sure about what to say to your GP, print and fill out this form and show it to them. This will help you have the conversation.
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Is Prostate Cancer Preventable
There is no known way to prevent prostate cancer. There are conflicting studies and research that have not provided valid evidence for prevention. However, there are steps you could take that might lower the risk. Although you cant change your family history, age, and race, there are changes to your lifestyle you could make.
Always talk to a medical professional before taking certain measures that could affect your overall health. If you possess specific risk factors for developing prostate cancer, your doctor might recommend changing your diet, exercising more, or taking vitamins.
Healthy Diet Some studies found that consuming more vegetables and fruits or switching to a low-fat diet might reduce prostate cancer risk. You could try the following:
Drugs Multiple studies concluded certain medications could reduce a mans risk of developing prostate cancer.
Does Overdiagnosis Lead To Overtreatment Of Older Men
The widespread use of PSA screening has led to an increase in the diagnosis and treatment of early localized prostate cancer. Data from the US Cancer of the Prostate Strategic Urological Research Endeavor database suggest a significant decrease in risk in the last 2 decades in the United States, with more patients being identified with low-risk disease at diagnosis, but the role of active treatment of low- and intermediate-risk disease in elderly men remains controversial.
The median time from diagnosis to death from prostate cancer for men with nonpalpable disease is approximately 17 years., Considering that the US male life expectancy at the age of 65 years is 16 years, aggressive therapy will hardly extend life expectancy of older men with no palpable prostate cancer at the time of diagnosis. Twenty to 30% of prostate cancers detected by PSA screening programs show Gleason scores of 6 or lower and, thus, are not poorly differentiated and have volumes smaller than 0.5 cm3.
Histologic evaluation of radical prostatectomy specimens demonstrated that about 20% to 30% of cancers are small volume, show low Gleason scores, and are consequently clinically harmless., Many of these cancers pose little threat to life, especially for older men. Has PSA screening resulted in prostate cancer overdiagnosis?
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What Are Common Risk Factors For Prostate Cancer
As I mentioned earlier, I most commonly see prostate cancer in men over 60. And like many other types of cancer, prostate cancer risks increase as you get older. Other risk factors can include:
- A family history of prostate cancer If you have a close family member, such as a father or brother, with prostate cancer, youre 2 to 3 times more likely than other men to develop prostate cancer .
- Genetics Many of my patients often ask if prostate cancer is hereditary. Hereditary prostate cancer does exist, but only 5 to 10 percent of all prostate cancers are hereditary due to a single inherited gene mutation.
- Race Black men are at a higher risk of prostate cancer than men of other races, and were not sure why.
- Obesity Obese men who are diagnosed with prostate cancer may be more likely to have an advanced cancer thats more difficult to treat.
Screening For The Early Detection Of Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer could be found early if you undergo a screening. Screening is a way to test for signs of cancer before symptoms even develop. If the results show any abnormalities, you might need a biopsy to determine if you have cancer. Some medical organizations find these tests controversial, especially if they are performed on healthy individuals who havent shown symptoms of the disease. No one knows if the benefits outweigh any possible risks. You should discuss this with your doctor so they can review your medical history, risk factors, and other information to determine if you should undergo screenings.
The two main screening tests include:
Prostate-specific antigen blood test PSA is a protein made in the prostate gland for semen. It can also be found in the blood. As your PSA level rises, the chance that you have prostate cancer also increases. There isnt a specific level that indicates whether theres cancer. Some doctors will decide additional testing is necessary if theres a PSA of 2.5 or 3, while others will recommend it if the level is 4 or higher.
Digital rectal exam A doctor will lubricate a glove and insert one finger into the rectum to feel for hard areas or bumps on the prostate that could indicate cancer. A rectal exam is not as effective as a PSA test but might detect prostate cancer if someone has a normal PSA level.
What Causes Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer affects mainly older men. Six out of ten cases are diagnosed in men over 65, but less than 1% in men under 50. Though uncommon, prostate cancer can be seen in men even in their 30’s and 40’s. Men with a family history of prostate cancer are more likely to develop prostate cancer than the general population.
On a case-by-case basis, doctors cannot say with certainty what causes prostate cancer, but experts generally agree that diet contributes to the risk. Men who consume large amounts of fat — particularly from red meat and other sources of animal fat cooked at high heat — may be more likely to develop advanced prostate cancer. The disease is much more common in countries where meat and dairy products are dietary staples than in countries where the basic diet consists of rice, soybean products, and vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, cole slaw, or sauerkraut.
The underlying factor linking diet and prostate cancer is probably hormonal. Fats stimulate increased production of testosterone and other hormones, and testosterone acts to speed the growth of prostate cancer. High testosterone levels may stimulate dormant prostate cancer cells into activity. Some findings suggest that high testosterone levels also influence the initial onset of prostate cancer.
Welders, battery manufacturers, rubber workers, and workers frequently exposed to the metal cadmium seem to be abnormally vulnerable to prostate cancer.